Sunday, July 26, 2009

The U.S. 2010 Census is going green, but is it as good as it can get?

Are you getting ready for Census 2010? well, even if you didn't remember it's coming, the U.S. Census Bureau is already working on it and it has begun printing 2010 Census questionnaires.

And this time the Census Bureau is going green. As Treehugger reported yesterday "The Census Bureau has gone to great lengths to make the printing process as efficient and eco-friendly as possible," Census Director Robert Groves said. "The printing of 2010 Census questionnaires uses 30 percent less ink than 10 years ago and will be printed on 30 percent recycled paper."

Well, this is really great if you think of the number of questionnaires printed - more than 120 million questionnaires. But I was wondering while reading the news - is this as good as it can get in 2010?

I tried to think about the filled part of the glass - this is a great progress comparing with 2000 Census, it will help increasing the demand for recycled paper and reducing its price, less trees will be cut down, less resources will be wasted and less pollution will be generated.

These are very important and positive outcomes of this move, but I still can't understand why the Census Bureau can't offer to fill in the questionnaires online. Just think how much trees, other resources, green house gases and pollution could be saved then.

I know this step might be difficult to implement, but if the IRS can let you fill your tax report online why shouldn't the Census Bureau can offer you the same? Do we really need to wait for Census 2020 for this option to be (hopefully) available?

I'll be happy to hear your thoughts about it.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing